Associate Professor Sujatha Raman

PhD Public Policy (Pittsburgh), MS Science & Technology Studies (Virginia Tech), BSc Physics (Madras)
Director of Research

Associate Professor Sujatha Raman joined CPAS in July 2018 as Director of Research and Reader. Trained in science and technology studies (STS), she is exploring the contribution that science communication research and practice can make to science, technology and innovation in the public good.

Raman was previously Co-Director of Research at the Institute for Science and Society (ISS), University of Nottingham (UK) and Director from 2016-18 of the Leverhulme Research Programme, “Making Science Public: Challenges and Opportunities”. In 2014-15, she was Visiting Scholar at the Center for Science, Policy and Outcomes (CSPO) and the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University.

With former Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb and the Crawford School of Public Policy, Raman co-convenes the 2019 ANU series of professional graduate workshops on Science, Technology and Public Policy for the Australian Public Service. In collaboration with the Australian Academy of Science, she is co-convening the International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) Australia Dialogue in 2019.

Raman is Co-Investigator and Australia case study lead in the “Talking about Gene Drive” research project (2019-2020) led by the University of Exeter (UK) with funding from the Wellcome Trust. She is Co-Investigator in EVAL-FARMS, a research project funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to investigate AMR in the UK farm environment. She collaborates on a research project funded by INGSA on evidence and energy policymaking in Nigeria.  

Raman is a member of the Science and Democracy Network (SDN) and the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S). She leads CPAS’ partnership in the Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation (VIRI). Her recent publications include Science and the Politics of Openness (co-edited, Manchester University Press, 2018) and papers in Palgrave Communications, Geoforum, Sociologia Ruralis, Environmental Science and Policy, Environmental Communication, Progress in Development Studies and Journal of Rural Studies.

Research interests

My work is grounded in social science research on intersections between science, innovation and democracy. These encompass questions regarding the role of evidence and science advice in public policy; the proper relationship between politics, ethics, experts and the public around science and technology issues; and most recently, future visions of responsible innovation. I am exploring new challenges and opportunities for science communication raised by these questions.

I have conducted transdisciplinary collaborative research on a wide range of global and national grand challenges including sustainable energy transitions, antimicrobial transitions, agricultural and biomedical innovation, and the environment/health interface in the global North and South.

From 2016-18, I was Director of a large Research Programme funded by the UK's Leverhulme Trust, “Making Science Public: Challenges and Opportunities”, and led by the University of Nottingham with partners in the University of Sheffield and the University of Warwick. In 2016-17, I led a transdisciplinary team of engineers, social scientists and NGOs in the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Nexus Network Project exploring lessons from bottom-up perspectives in urban Ghana for SDG Goal 7 on sustainable energy. My previous research on biofuels and small-scale energy systems was supported by the UK Biological and Biotechnological Research Council (BBSRC) and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). 

I am currently Co-Investigator and Australia case study lead in the “Talking about Gene Drive” research project (2019-2020) led by the University of Exeter (UK) with funding from the Wellcome Trust and partners in Uganda (Gulu University) and the US (North Carolina State University). I am collaborating with Richard Helliwell and Carol Morris (University of Nottingham) to develop social science contributions to understanding and addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as an environmental challenge. This work is supported by EVAL-FARMS, a transdisciplinary research project led by bioscientists and funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to investigate AMR in the UK farm environment. I also currently collaborate with Temilade Sesan’s (University of Ibadan) INGSA research project on evidence and energy policymaking in Nigeria.  

I have supervised 13 PhDs to date on a wide variety of topics in science, technology and society pertaining to the UK, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, India, Denmark and transnational settings. I am currently supervising PhD projects on hype, policy advice, and quantification in public life in Australia.  

Roberson, T., Leach, J., Raman, S., 2021, Talking about public good for the second quantum revolution: Analysing quantum technology narratives in the context of national strategies. Quantum Science and Technology, 6, 2.

O'Connor, R., Nel, J., Roux, D., Leach, J., Lim-Camacho, L., Medvecky, F., van Kerkhoff, L., Raman, S., 2021, The role of environmental managers in knowledge co-production: Insights from two case studies. Environmental Science and Policy, 116, 188-195.

Helliwell, R., Morris, C. and Raman, S., 2019. Can resistant infections be perceptible in UK dairy farming?. Palgrave Communications, 5, 1: 1-9  

Levidow, L. and Raman, S., 2019. Metamorphosing waste as a resource: Scaling waste management by ecomodernist means. Geoforum, 98: 108-122.

Morris, C., S. Raman and S. Seymour. 2018. Openness to social science knowledges? The politics of disciplinary collaboration within the field of UK food security research. Sociologia Ruralis 59, 23-43.

Pearce, W., M. Mahony and S. Raman. 2018. Science Advice for Global Challenges: learning from trade-offs in the IPCC. Environmental Science and Policy 80, 125-131.

Nerlich, B., S. Hartley, S. Raman and A. Smith (eds) 2018. Science and the Politics of Openness: Here be Monsters. Manchester: Manchester University Press. (Available Open Access)

Raman, S., P. Hobson-West, M.E.Lam & K. Millar. 2018. Science Matters and the Public Interest: the role of minority engagement. In B.Nerlich, S.Hartley, S.Raman & A.Smith (eds) Science and the Politics of Openness: here be monsters. Manchester: Manchester University Press (Available open access)

Tiwari, S., S. Raman and P. Martin. 2017. Regenerative Medicine in India: Trends and Challenges in Innovation and Regulation. Regenerative Medicine 12, 875-885.  

Pearce, W., R. Grundmann, M. Hulme, S. Raman, E. Hadley Kershaw and J.Tsouvalis. 2017. Beyond Counting Climate Consensus. Environmental Communication 11, 6: 723-730 [followed by a reply to critics: Pearce, W., R. Grundmann, M. Hulme, S. Raman, E. Hadley Kershaw and J.Tsouvalis. 2017. ‘A Reply to Cook and Oreskes on Climate Science Consensus Messaging’. Environmental Communication 11, 6: 736-739]

Jewitt, S. and S. Raman. 2017. Energy Poverty, Institutional Reform and Challenges of Sustainable Development: the case of India. Progress in Development Studies Special issue on Energy & Development 17, 2: 1-13

Morris, C., R. Helliwell and S. Raman. 2016. ‘Framing the Agricultural use of Antibiotics and Antimicrobial Resistance in UK National Newspapers and the Farming Press’. Journal of Rural Studies 45: 43-53.

Pearce, W., S. Raman and A. Turner. 2015. Randomised Trials in context: practical problems and social aspects of Evidence-based Medicine and Policy. Trials 16: 394, DOI: 10.1186/s13063-015-0917-5. 

Raman, S. 2015. ‘Responsive Novelty: Taking Innovation Seriously in Societal Research Agendas for Synthetic Biology.’ Journal of Responsible Innovation 2, 1: 117-120.  

Raman, S., A. Mohr, R. Helliwell, B. Ribeiro, O. Shortall, R. Smith and K. Millar. 2015. ‘Integrating Social and Ethical Dimensions into Sustainability Assessment of Biofuels.’ Biomass and Bioenergy 82: 49-62.

Shortall, O., S. Raman and K. Millar. 2015. ‘Are Plants the New Oil? Biorefining, Responsible Innovation and Multipurpose Agriculture’ Energy Policy 86: 360-368.

Pearce, W. and S. Raman. 2014. ‘The New Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) Movement in Public Policy: challenges of epistemic governance.’ Policy Sciences 47, 4: 387-402.

Tiwari, S. and S. Raman. 2014. ‘Governing Stem Cell Therapy in India: regulatory vacuum or jurisdictional ambiguity?’ New Genetics and Society 33, 4: 413-433 (Corresponding author).

Raman, S. and A. Mohr. 2014. ‘A Social Licence for Science: Capturing the Public or Co-Constructing Research?’ Social Epistemology 28, 3-4: 258-276.

Raman, S. and A. Mohr. 2014. ‘Biofuels and the role of Space in Sustainable Innovation Journeys.’ Journal of Cleaner Production 65: 224-233.    

Mohr, A. and S. Raman. 2013. ‘Lessons from First-generation Biofuels and the implications for Sustainability Appraisal of Second-generation Biofuels.’ Energy Policy 63:114-122.

Raman, S. 2013. ‘Fossilizing Renewable Energies.’ Science as Culture, 22(2): 172-180

Sesan, T., Raman, S., Clifford, M., and Forbes, I. 2013. ‘Corporate-Led Sustainable Development and Energy Poverty Alleviation at the Bottom of the Pyramid: The Case of the CleanCook in Nigeria.’ World Development 45, 137-146.   

Mohr, A. and Raman, S., 2012. ‘Representing the public in public engagement: the case of the 2008 UK Stem Cell Dialogue.’ PLoS Biology. 10(11), e1001418 DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001418.

Raman, S. and R. Tutton. 2010. ‘Life, science and biopower.’ Science, Technology & Human Values 35, 5, 711-734.

Raman, S. 2005. ‘Institutional Perspectives on science/policy boundaries.’ Science and Public Policy, 32, 6, 418-22.

Raman, S. 2005. ‘Delegitimizing science: risk or opportunity?’ Social Epistemology: A Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Policy. 19, 49-62.

Hellström, T., and S. Raman 2001. ‘The Commodification of Knowledge about Knowledge: knowledge management and the reification of epistemology.’ Social Epistemology: A Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Policy, 15, 139-154

Raman, S. 2001. ‘Offshored workers or new intellectuals? Emerging from the great labour divide in university research’, Organization, 8, 441-47.

Science, Technology and Public Policy (POGO8138)

Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Science Communication (SCOM3029/SCOM6029)